Saturday, March 21, 2009

Two letter words; still less effective than four letter words

Rube Goldberg machine

Forgive me, but I've never heard of the term..

A Rube Goldberg machine is a deliberately overengineered apparatus that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually using a chain reaction. Goldberg's drawings, for example, almost always included a live animal which was expected to perform part of the sequence of tasks. The term first appeared in Webster's Third New International Dictionary with the definition, "accomplishing by extremely complex roundabout means what actually or seemingly could be done simply." The expression has been dated as originating in the United States around 1930[1] to describe Rube Goldberg's illustrations of "absurdly-connected machines".

The board game mouse trap instantly comes to mind... here's a video that defines a Rube Goldberg machine..

Why am I thinking about this? Well, I've never heard of the term, and it was used in the Perimeter article in the current issue of the Walrus, and discussed here here.

Migration within the USA

Really nice looking maps with a ton of options to break down the data... I assume retirements are responsible for the major trend?...

Actually found an interesting history blog...

Touches on a lot of interesting things.. Art, design, books; even looting!

Some posts worth reading to get you started: - Linking to this:

Bert and Ernie gangsta rap!

Machines that always almost fall over

Machines that Almost Fall Over from Michael Kontopoulos on Vimeo.

Michael Kontopoulos
A system of sculptures that is constantly on the brink of collapse. My intention was to capture and sustain the exact moment of impending catastrophe and endlessly repeat it.

More cool ideas here:

Brian Dawkins - Acting the Fool

Cool video (at least the first 5 minutes) of Brian Dawkin's personality. Not really about football.

A walking tour of NYC independent bookstores

and a far more comprehensive list (but worse interface) here.